The 26th Annual Run-A-Muck was held July 18th & 19th 2003at the Bear Valley Campground.  It seemed that this year that participation was slightly down, and last years 25th anniversary event made it feel even smaller.   The trail was looser than last year and made for better scrambles at the winch hills.

We drove up on Friday morning and arrived at the Bear Valley Campground  and set up camp.  There was an ice cream social and after that we turned in early.   Our club always gets up around 4:30am and is one of if not the first rigs on the trail.  We like this as you dont get as much dust or stuck behind people on the winch hills if you get out early.   This was no exception, and we got an early start.

Videos from the trip are HERE.

Friday night we made a trip out to Ball Pein to inspect what the morning would hold in store.  We could see that they had set up the rocks and dug the holes with shorter wheelbase vehicles in mind.  It was not pretty!
This was winch hill #1.  It was not too bad, but the dirt and rocks were very loose, and there were opposing dips at the end that made you flex, and if you did'nt have at least one locker, scramble some.
Rich makes the top of winch hill #1.
Pete makes the top of winch hill #1.
There were five checkpoints.   At the checkpoints, they asked you questions and you could score points.   There were also games for the whole family.

One of the great things at Run-A-Muck is the Ball Pein Challenge.   In the past, only a few have made it each year.   The rules are simple: once you enter the course, you must keep forward motion at all times.  There is no spotting help, and no rock stacking.  It costs $5 to try, and the people who make it will have a chance to win a 50/50 split of the pot. 

This guy gave it a good try, but did not make it.   It seemed that he was wishing for lower gears, as he stalled a few times.

This guy was said to be a two time winner of ball pein, but he did not make this run.   Later in the day, he did have a succesfull attempt.  I guess that by that time, he figured out that he had not even dropped his tire pressure!

Another person with a big money rig.   Once again, not a successful run.   I think that he also made it later in the day.   

I dont know what the level of experience it with this person or the last one but both had fancy rigs, and neither even took a basic step of letting some air out of the tires!   They looked like they were running at full pressure, as the tires were not deforming on the rocks.   Had they taken this basic step, the spectators that I was talking to all thought they may have made it.

Alan made an attempt at Ball Pein, but without a front locker, the big rocks early in the course got him.  It must be noted though that he made it as far as the highly modified rigs did when he got stuck!
Winch hill #2 was very loose, and made for a good scramble.   With lockers front and rear, Art made short work if it.
Alan was next.   He had a carb problem half way up, but made it without problem.   He was thinking of doing the roll over backward trick, but decided against it.
Rich was next.   I dont think he has lockers at either end, so throttle was the way to go!
The tires were spinnng and the dust was flying!
Corey was next, and with lockers had little problem.
At one point on the trail, I came upon a large rock and decided to drive up onto it, then onto the passenger side rock slider, then off of it.  I figured I would put my bunper against it, then push and roll up and onto it.   I put the bumper against it and pushed, but it did not go up. As there were people behind me, I just backed up and went on.   At lunch, Alan noticed that I had slightly bent the bumper.
In this part of the trail, you drive up a river bed like section of loose rocks.
Art's Jeep coming down a steep section.
This was another checkpoint.  At this one, you had to answer questions, then drive up with both passenger side tires on a log, then throw a spear at a target while seated in your vehicle.
After the run we wanted to cool off, so we headed out to Stampede Reservoir to take a dip and cool off.
The water was really nice, and everyone enjoyed the swim... except one person....

This person, who will remain nameless until the Cow Bell is awarded at the next meeting, waded out until it was almost waist deep, then dove in.... right onto a large rock just under the surface of the water.   

For that person, if you are reading this:  If you want the story about fighting off the bear to fly with the rest of us, you better have lots of bribes ready for us at the next meeting!

Pete used his military Jeep trailer to haul camping supplies.  The tarp that covers it actually kept all of the dust out of the trailer!
Here we are on the "patio".

That night they gave away a lot of prizes:

T-shirts for the single ladys.

T-Shirts for the single guys.

There was a large raffle with a large board full of prizes.  The grand prize was a set of 35inch Pro-Comp Mud Terrains, and they went down from there.  

Members of our club won stuff like 500 watt home work lights, under hood hot water shower system, a 50% off certificate for a MAX Multi Tool, and in the Womens raffle, a sleeping bag and a bracelet.

Some of you that have been around the Diablo 4 Wheelers will recognize this guy.   He also is part of the 4 Wheel Drive Safety Education Course at Hollister Hills SVRA.

It was another great year!  Next year, we are playing with the idea of camping on the river instead of Bear Valley Campground.  This would make for less dust, and more entertainment and fun in the river.

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